Many years ago, I knelt by my bedside to pray. I had just closed my Bible after reading Matthew, Chapter 24. As I prayed, I envisioned Christ returning in the clouds. I recalled words He had spoken: "When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth?" The thought haunted me: Will there be faith on earth when He returns? “Let there be faith in me!" I cried.
Let faith be found in each of us who professes to believe God. Each one of us should ask himself, “Have I believed the teachings of men, or the words of God? Do I know His truth, or only the opinions of men? How can I be sure of what's true?" There is a way, not by the intellect of mortal men, but by the Spirit of the living God.
After years of writing, the thrust of my message is that we must exercise the same faith that saved us to continue believing the unseen God. We did not understand how Christ took our sins away--yet we believed what we could not comprehend, and He gave us new life by His Spirit. Now it's time to receive the meat of the Word, without which we could perish. It comes by the same faith we had as babes in Christ when we first repented and believed God. Perhaps it's time to repent again, but this time, we must repent of our unbelief. We have shunned the scriptures we refuse to embrace because they are unpleasant to our ears. Instead of taking up the cross that deals death to our flesh, we have welcomed teachings that tickle our ears, just as the scriptures foretold we would.
What if the Word of God describes our God differently than the God you learned He is ? Can we know the truth? If we have the Holy Spirit, we should know it, but wolves have been among us for centuries. The serpent has deceived most of us who have received the right to become the sons of God, and He has set us free to choose the Spirit or the flesh. Many of us have believed the lies, and we have spread the deceptions with great self-confidence. The worst part is, these things began in the early centuries and have increased with time. Yet even now, the light of Christ shines through us who live as sacrifices, surrendered to His Holy Spirit.
We can know the truth by daring to believe God only. The Spirit of Jesus Christ is our Teacher who alone can also empower us to overcome the trials ahead. What we take in, we receive of Jesus [Yeshua] the Christ [Messiah]; however, if we misinterpret or skew the meanings of His words, then we deny Him by our unbelief. God hasn't changed from the beginning when the Word was in His bosom, proceeding from His heart to speak the creation into being. When we correctly divide His words, we understand their agreement without distortions--not by the strength of mortal intellect, but by our faith as the Holy Spirit enlightens us. He must be our Teacher.
Now the end of all things is on us, and the false church has not yet received the judgments due her. The false gospel, the false Jesus, and the false religion are man-made. Paul warned us that even a little leaven figuratively leavens the whole lump; i.e. the hypocritical teachings of men puff up our carnal brains. Nothing false is acceptable to our Holy Father in heaven, but He is able to make us stand before Him on that Great Day if we humble ourselves with repentance today.
Christ died to forgive us and take away our sins, but men will face Him for their rejection of the truth and their preference for darkness rather than light. If we start out on the right foot but end up on the wrong side of God, we will suffer an eternal loss for our refusal to believe His words. The question is, Have we believed God or men?
Today be like Paul who unlearned what he'd been taught by tearing down the strongholds, the opinions of the leaders that were in disagreement with the difficult words of God. The Word of the Lord refuted the deceiver in the wilder-ness, and Paul received his true education in the wilderness, apart from men, by the Holy Spirit. Where have we learned what we think we know? If what we learn is clearly Scriptural, we must keep it; however, if we can't reconcile what the Bible says with what we have learned, we should not be afraid to tear down the stronghold and believe God rather than men. Let God be true and every man a liar, every opinion an imagination, and every vain idea a feather in the wind.
The Scriptures are entirely relevant, from Genesis and through Revelation, established with both grace and truth, for God is both merciful and stern, as it's written: "consider the goodness and severity of God." (Romans 11:22) He gave us His Word to find it out by believing it; cor-rectly dividing the Word of truth can make the difference between life or death.
We're on a journey. As we travel through these pages, receiving the truth in our minds by believing it in our hearts, we can consider how far we've come from where we first started. Be encouraged. He sees your heart, and as you seek His truth, you will discover God as He truly is. More than ever before, you will appreciate His great desire: that you race toward His righteousness, truth, and love--at all times, love.
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Joan H Richardson
Faith on Earth ministries